Max Verstappen and Sir Lewis Hamilton had an amusing exchange surrounding the rule prohibiting jewellery being worn in the cockpit during races.
In 2005, the FIA introduced a ruling prohibiting jewellery being on a driver’s person during events due to safety concerns.
They imposed “an immediate ban on the wearing of jewellery (body piercing and heavy chains) by race and rally competitors.”
The drivers are required to wear fire-proof clothing, and they have been reminded by this weekend’s race director, Niels Wittich, that jewellery may be confiscated as it poses a safety hazard.
“The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start,” he wrote in article 5.1 of his notes.
The conversation during Friday’s press conference naturally swung over to the subject, and Hamilton, who often wears jewellery, quipped that the reiteration of the rule will only prompt him wear more in the next race.
“I’ve got certain piercings I really just can’t take out, that not many people know of. Nah, I’m kidding,” he said.
“It’s been the rule forever, since I’ve been here it’s been the rule, so nothing new. I’m just going to come with more jewellery next week.”
Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas were both present during Hamilton’s media session, and latter joked that the “stewards can take it off.”
The Dutchman chimed in, affirming that he would be “too heavy” it he donned any jewels, “so it’s not possible.
The seven-time world champion jokingly told him: “I know you have a nipple piercing man, come on,” to which Verstappen replied: “You want to see it again?” with a chuckle.
Wittich also emphasised that the drivers must wear fireproof undergarments, or they will likely face a fine as Jean Eric Vergne, Andre Lotterer and Lucas Di Grassi did in 2018 in Formula E.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner will not be keeping an eye on the underwear Verstappen or Sergio Perez have on, but is satisfied that they will not be causing any issues.
“I certainly won’t be checking our drivers’ underwear!” he said.
“For compliance, I see that as a team manager role, although I’m reliably informed our drivers go commando! Hopefully, it won’t be an issue for them.”
He added that the discussion had made for an “entertaining” drivers’ briefing on Friday after practice.